The title of this post is right - I do have my first finished object for 2008. Are you shocked? I'll get to it in a minute but first I have a little Public Service Announcement. Please stay with me for a minute.
As you all know, my father passed away a little over 3 months ago. Based purely upon geography, I'm the one who's become responsible for settling things. My dad was a really organized guy and most things I need are right there in his labeled and categorized files. There is one glaring exception though and it's driving me mad.
My dad was a super-techie computer geek so it makes perfect sense that he had all of his bills paid online... automatically. I'm sure it made life much easier for him and appealed to his geeky sensibility but it's really frustrating and aggravating for me, because my dad left no records of what was being paid automatically, what the passwords for the accounts were - nothing. I have his computer and, having some familiarity with such things, I've tried everything to shut the payments off. Still they continue. The worst is that payments have still been going from the closed bank account to the leasing company for the car that was paid off, account closed, three months ago. How does that happen? Makes no sense - right? Argh!
I know how badly this stuff sucks and it feels kind of morbid to think about stuff for after you're gone but please, if you use online banking, make detailed and updated records for your family - like a roadmap. Even the people at the bank that I'm dealing with (who have been very helpful and keep writing off the hundreds of dollars - yep hundreds - of bank fees generated by this problem) admitted that they personally use online banking and have never written it all out. I suspect that there are a lot of people who use automatic bill pay and have never thought about this issue. If it helps to get past the ick factor, pretend that you're leaving records just in case you go away on vacation some day to a remote island or an isolated mountaintop and love it so much that you decide never to return home again. Believe me, your family will thank you for it.
Ok, I'm done now, let's continue on to the finished object. These fingerless gloves are for DQ's best friend, who she often refers as her "Rock". The Rock was at the house the day I finished DQ's fingerless gloves and she loved them, said that they'd look great in red. I detected a hint. She also spent a little while looking through my knitting books and admiring them. After she left I hit the stash and found some old Cotton Ease. I was hoping for wool but I have to say that the Cotton Ease worked really well. Nice fabric, nice cable definition.
The pattern I based these on was the Fingerless Mitts with XO Cable. I say based on because I cjhanged it up a bit. Some of the changes were intentional and others were not. The modifications started on the very first row. The pattern specifies that you start the cable immediately but I like things to flow so for the first 6 rows I knit a simple rib that makes allowance for the rib to start on row 7. It went like this: K1, P2, K2, P2, K2, P4, (K2, P2) to the last stitch, K1. (I also ended the cable early and did the last 6 rows like this.)
The next modification was at the thumb gusset. Basically I decided that I like the thumb gusset on another pair of fingerless mitts that I knit recently so much that I integrated it into this pair. The difference is in the way that the M1 was done so that it left no holes. No holes is always a good thing.
Anyway, all I really changed was that I did the M1 by picking up the stitch from the row beneath the stitch rather than the bar between the stitches. Check out this pattern for Cabled Fingerless (pdf) to see what I'm talking about. The only tricky part was the set up row which I did like this - Row 1: K6, P2, Cable, P2, K25, PM, M1, K1, M1 from the next stitch but don't knit the stitch itself, PM, K2. Continue the gusset as written, doing the M1 by picking up the loop from the stitch beneath the one being worked. I hope that this makes sense.
I also adjusted the dividing row based loosely on the instructions in Cabled Fingerless so that it goes like this:
Next round (dividing round): K6, P2, Cable, P2, K24, M1, Sl1, remove marker, place gusset stitches on waste yarn for thumb, place slipped stitch back on left needle and knit it together with the next stitch, K to the end of the round and continue pattern as written.
The unintentional modification was in the cable. I just plain screwed it up and you can probably see the error in the pictures. I didn't notice the error until the glove was finished and, really, I like it just as it is so I went with it and turned it into a design element by repeating it on the second glove.